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Archive for the ‘Dan Carney’ Category

by Dan Carney

Friday, September 18, was a day to remember: 500 Bay-Friendly enthusiasts descended on St. Mary’s Event Center in San Francisco for a romping good time rubbing elbows and sharing stories about compost, soil, water, plants and rain harvesting at the 2nd Bay-Friendly Landscape Conference.

This year’s theme, “Transforming Urban Landscapes to Protect Our Water Resources,” featured keynote speaker Brad Lancaster, an expert in rainwater harvesting and graywater, as well as presentations by dozens of landscape architects, biologists, arborists, gardeners, contractors, designers and manufacturers.

The marketplace was awash with earth-friendly compost tea, native grasses, fantastic books and smart irrigation systems that measure the sun and wind and automatically adjust the amount of water your plants receive.

If you missed the conference but want to learn more about the seven principles of Bay-Friendly landscaping and this growing grassroots movement, I invite you to visit the Bay-Friendly Coalition’s website today at www.bayfriendlycoalition.org.

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by Dan Carney

If you have time for just one conference this year, make sure it’s the Bay-Friendly Landscape Conference!

Brad Lancaster, author of Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, will start the festivities in style as keynote speaker. A star-studded cast of speakers and workshops follows, including noted landscape architect and author Bob Perry, who will lead two sessions on Measuring the Sustainability of Bay-Friendly Landscapes.

The conference runs from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 17, at the beautiful Saint Mary’s Event Center in San Francisco. You will be rewarded with delicious organic food, excellent networking opportunities, book signings, and a marketplace full of the latest technologies. Manufacturers’ representatives will be on hand to demonstrate rainwater harvesting systems, high-tech electronics, and cutting-edge irrigation tools.

This event will sell out quickly, so register now to spend an inspiring day with people like you—passionate about helping plants and people thrive. Naturally.

For registration and details, visit www.BayFriendlyCoalition.org today!

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by Dan Carney

You already know how to save for a rainy day—how about a non-rainy day? If you want to learn how to catch rainwater for your garden, to wash your clothes, or just to have a backup supply, then please read on.

The 10,000 Rain Gardens Project is offering FREE on-site rainwater harvesting consultations to MMWD customers. A highly trained technician will come to your site and review options that fit your budget and unique circumstances. Whether you are thinking of installing 50 or 5,000 gallons of storage, a 10,000 Rain Gardens consultation can answer your questions and supply the basic information you need. 

Please visit raingardens.spawnusa.org/get-involved.html to fill out a brief questionnaire and apply for a consultation appointment. Space is limited, so take action today!

The 10,000 Rain Gardens Project is operated by the Salmon Protection and Watershed Network (SPAWN) and sponsored by MMWD.

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by Dan Carney

Now that the long hot summer days have arrived, it’s time to tune up your sprinklers and make every drop of water count.  MMWD can help. Our talented survey team is ready to come to your home or business and conduct a free Conservation Assistance Program (CAP) water-use assessment. 

Conservation Assistance Program

Checking a customer's water meter during a CAP survey

Our CAP surveyors are qualified experts who can tackle any property: commercial centers, homeowners’ associations, homes, businesses, schools, parks, churches. No matter how large or small, our staff has seen it all. During the survey, a MMWD staff member will go step-by-step from the water meter to look for leaks; inside to check faucets, toilets, and other water-using appliances; and outside to review your watering schedule and sprinkler system.

Call us at (415) 945-1523 to set up an appointment, and we will arrange for a convenient day to meet with you Monday – Friday at 8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. CAP has helped over 5,000 customers reduce their water use and we can help you, too!

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by Dan Carney

10,000 Rain GardensThe rain may be tapering off for the year, but the Salmon Protection and Watershed Network (SPAWN) and MMWD are promoting rainwater harvesting with a storm of activities. The newly launched “10,000 Rain Gardens Project” offers MMWD customers expert advice, hands-on workshops and a wealth of information. Rainwater harvesting techniques range in cost and difficulty; they can be as simple as redirecting roof gutters into “rain gardens,” or complex, with storage cisterns, filters and treatment systems. Whatever type of system is right for you, the goal is to beneficially reuse rainwater on your property and, at the same time, reduce environmental impacts caused by storm runoff downstream.

If you’ve ever wondered how to harvest that “free” water falling from the sky, visit the new project website at raingardens.spawnusa.org. You will find information on upcoming tours, events, and links to valuable resources. If you are interested in having a free on-site evaluation, fill out the online survey. But hurry—there are a limited number of these evaluations available and the schedule is filling up fast! A specially trained SPAWN representative will visit your home or business to assess the type of rain harvesting systems that would be most appropriate and provide you customized recommendations.

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by Dan Carney

CIMIS station

One of MMWD's three CIMIS (California Irrigation Management Information System) weather stations.

On a cold windy morning, thirty hearty souls gathered around an electronic “robot” to learn how weather influences how much water plants need. This educational encounter was part of MMWD’s most recent Conservation Action Committee meeting, held January 15. 

Participants asked questions about relative humidity, solar radiation, and wind speed as Conservation Specialist Greg Van Trump introduced them to Marin’s newest CIMIS (California Irrigation Management Information System) weather station—a sophisticated meteorological device that automatically relays weather data to MMWD through a statewide computer system. The data is used to calculate the amount of water typical landscapes need on a daily basis, helping MMWD customers manage their irrigation schedules and conserve water outdoors. (You can sign up to receive the free Weekly Watering Schedule via email by clicking here.)

Next, the group was treated to a tour of MMWD’s San Geronimo Treatment Plant to see how our drinking water is cleaned and filtered as it travels from our reservoirs to our taps.

Picnic shelter

Picnic shelter at Lagunitas School. Rainwater is harvested from the rooftop, stored in a cistern, and used to irrigate the school's organic garden during the dry summer months.

To top off the morning, the group visited nearby Lagunitas School to see a unique 30,000 gallon rainwater harvesting system. Paola Bouley, Conservation Program Director  for SPAWN (Salmon Protection and Watershed Network), explained how redirecting rainwater from rooftops and parking lots into cisterns conserves valuable water resources and reduces the harmful impacts of runoff on sensitive aquatic species such as Coho salmon.

The Conservation Action Committee (CAC) meets quarterly at various locations throughout Marin and is open to everyone interested in learning about water conservation. The next meeting dates are March 19, June 18 and September 17. Stay tuned for details as the dates approach, and please send your suggestions for water conservation projects that CAC participants can visit in our community.

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by Dan Carney

MMWD has officially moved into a new, more progressive era of water conservation. On December 16, the Board of Directors unanimously adopted Ordinance 414 requiring high-efficiency appliances and more water-efficient landscapes throughout the district.

Ordinance 414 will result in 20-50 percent reductions in water use for new construction and remodel projects. This is accomplished by requiring high-performance toilets, faucet aerators, clothes washers, and smart sprinkler timers. Requirements vary depending on the size and type of construction project you’re working on. These new technologies not only save water, energy and money—they also perform better than their less water-efficient predecessors. 

Ordinance 414 is available on the district’s website at http://www.marinwater.org/controller?action=menuclick&id=411

Please contact district staff if you have any questions at (415) 945-1520.

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